Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) has issued a rather stark report entitled "Quiet Crisis: The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Nonprofit Sector." Ironically, my quick read tells me the report provides empirical data in opposition to the President's plan to limit the value of itemized deductions (including the charitable contribution deduction) to 28%. The DLC is a democratic party think tank, by the way, but the report was co-authored by economic advisors to Presidents Bush and Clinton. Here is what the report recommends via the tax code in response to the harms suffered by nonprofit organizations:
A handful of modest changes in the tax code would help keep nonprofit contributions by individuals and foundations from plunging: extending the IRA rollover so Americans over 70 can make charitable contributions through tax-free withdrawals from their retirement accounts; making the mileage deduction for volunteer travel, currently at only 14 cents per mile, the same 58.5 cents per mile as for business travel; creating a broadbased nonprofit investment tax credit to help charities hold their own in a brutal credit environment; suspending the 2 percent excise tax on foundation earnings for grant makers that give more than the 5 percent of assets required by federal law; and allowing the 65 percent of all taxpayers who do not itemize their tax deductions to claim a deduction for charitable contributions.